Skills Development Conference 2020

From Akita Wiki

The 2020 Skills Development Conference (外国語指導助手の指導力等向上研修) was held on November 27th. Due to the ongoing spread of COVID-19 in Japan, the conference was held online this year and JTEs were not in attendance.


Information and materials for presentations were distributed to ALTs two weeks ahead of the conference day. On the 27th, discussions and presentations took place online through Google Meet.

    9:30 AM - 4:30PM
  • Dress: Business Attire


Micro Teaching Demonstrations

ALTs will be divided and attending one of two teaching demonstrations given by a team of one JTE and one ALT. ALTs attending will be asked to analyze and discuss the lessons, after breaking up into four subgroups.

Teaching Workshops

  • "ES: Structure, Tips & Tricks ,and Hyping Up Your HRT" by Catherine Johnson for elementary school.
  • "JHS: I want to play a game… " by Jody Frye for junior high school. Presentation Materials
  • "HS: Debate" by Glenn Timoney for senior high school.

These workshops are aimed to provide ALTs and JTEs tips and explanations about their specific level of schooling. ALTs are encouraged to attend a level they teach at, but they are allowed to go where they choose.

Advice Panels

  • Various.

4-5 panelists varying in location, school level, and JET year will answer both prepared and audience-provided questions, ranging from work troubles, daily life, favorite spots around Akita, and more! Please come with questions! You will be expected to submit at least one question for discussion.

Asking and Guessing Cultures

  • Catherine Johnson.

Also known as Low-Context and High-Context Cultures, these terms help explain how people from different cultures communicate, and why they might clash. I hope that through this presentation and some reflection, you’ll learn more about how you, and those at your workplace(s) communicate, as well as how to keep calm when misunderstandings and frustrations arise.

Authentic English and Language Teaching

  • Stephanie Daughtery.

Authenticity in language learning has a variety of definitions depending on who you ask. In this presentation, we will determine our own definition of “authentic” and learn about how it can be used to the benefit of both teachers and students. We’ll discuss potential teaching methods and look at how to build a lesson around authentic materials. All Materials

Bringing ICT into the Classroom

  • Glenn Timony.

Want your students to be more active? Want to save some trees? Want to make your life easier (or harder)? Bring some of that sweet ICT into your lessons. Let's talk about the different ways we can shape some of our classes around Google and other forms of tech.

Creating Materials that Look Kawaii

  • Ally Ty.

Are you tasked to make materials for your English board? Do you need help in looking for activity sheets that look appealing to students? If you answered yes to any of these questions, this workshop might help you! I'll be showing you how to use Canva in making materials for your classes. It's so easy!

History of English

  • Aaron Kern.

Ever wonder why there is a k in knight, an h in what, and a c in scissors? No? Well too bad because that’s what I’m presenting on. In this presentation we will look at some of English’s strange rules, and how it came to have them. Presentation

Making the Most of Powerpoint

  • Martin Jackson.

We will focus on the uses of Powerpoint in the classroom when presenting new grammar and cultural topics and when playing classroom games. The workshop is split into four parts. Part 1 deals with creating a Powerpoint. It deals with things such as adding text, images, transitions and animations and choosing themes. Part 2 concerns presenting the Powerpoint in class. Part 3 concerns using Powerpoint for making English boards and Part 4 is Q&A.

Social Distancing in the Classroom

  • Caitlin Wilcox.

The introduction of COVID-19 has had a great impact on the world around us and how we operate our daily lives. As a result, we must look at our classroom practices in order to ensure that we are keeping both students and staff safe. This workshop will focus on social distancing in the classroom and some activity ideas that we can use in order to make the best of a bad situation. Please come prepared to share and discuss your own social distancing activity ideas too! Tips

Thriving and Surviving: Managing Mental Health

  • Allyson Roberts.

The struggle is real during these times of COVID-19, and winter is coming. From one struggling non-expert to another, this is a look into various mental illnesses and struggles, how to recognize them, and how to address them. From depression and anxiety, to imposter syndrome and toxic positivity, we will discuss how to recognize these conditions, in both yourself and others. Additionally, we will look at resources available, including a wide variety of DIY and at home ways to fight off the beasts for just a little longer. Come with questions, come with suggestions, and, most importantly, come vulnerable and honest but ready to improve. Presentation

Team Teaching Case Studies

In groups, ALTs will read over the following case studies, and then express their opinions and discuss what they think will better each situation. The groups will have 10 minutes to analyze each topic. These topics include situations both inside and outside the classroom. The goal is to have JTEs and ALTs communicate their personal experiences and opinions while working together to arrive at an agreeable solution.Case Studies list

Block Presentations

All blocks held individual meetings in their own Google meet rooms to discuss upcoming events and block relevant information to finish the conference.

See Also

Skills Development Conference
Mid-Year Conference 2008 • 2009 • 2010
Skills Development Conference 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
2020 2021 2022 2023